Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been sent, "On a mission from Broad". And that mission is to get the Grand Avenue project jammed through. If anything is keeping him on life support as a politician with his campaign backers, it's the fact that he must complete this mission.
For those of you who already read the article on this illegal boondoggle, this weekend, I will be presenting additonal information regarding the "nuts and bolts" of this project. (Which is all you need to consider to break out into a panic over the negative impact this project will be imposing on the general fund and the general public.)
Here's a little warm up info to get the ball rolling and we'll work our way up to bigger issues:
FIRST, READ THIS IF YOU MISSED IT: ZD Grand Ave Legislative Review/Comedy Script from ZD blog
CLICK "READ MORE" INCLUDING CITY COUNCIL'S COMMENTS ON THE PROJECT
THIS LETTER TO THE WEEKLY MAKES SOME GOOD POINTS:
from: "General Letters"
The Grand Scheme
The Grand Avenue Project is even worse than Zuma Dogg indicates [“Eli Broad’s Grand Illusion,” July 20–26]. First of all, there’s the increased traffic it will create. The existing freeways through and around downtown are already at gridlock much of the time, as are the surface streets downtown. Any attempt to increase the capacity of any of these freeways will be horrifically expensive, even if their capacity could be increased. As the Legislature is considering cutting substantial amounts from the transportation budget, these costs would have to be borne by local taxpayers.
Then there is water. We are in the midst of a major drought. The Legislature wants local government to bear the costs of increasing water capacity. There’s no sign the developers of Grand Avenue will be asked to pay the costs of bringing in the additional water their project will require. Once again, the taxpayers will have to pay for this, if it is done at all. In a rational world, local government would put a moratorium on all development until we figure out where the water will come from and who will pay this cost. But this is not a rational world.
Finally, as Zuma Dogg says, we don’t need this development. We’ve seen vanity books, vanity movies, vanity cars, vanity houses. And now we have a vanity redevelopment project, no different except in scale and no more useful than the 16,000-square-foot houses some people want to build. - Stanton J. Price, Glendale
THE PARK IS A CENTRAL CONCERN: I think the park is central to the story (no pun intended). Like what non-profit will get to develop the county park? The city charter says ONCE A DEDICATED PARK, A DEDICATED park forever. [So how come Related Company gets to develop it?] This will set a precident, and all the parks will go non-profit and out of the public's trust.
THAT'S A HUGE ANGLE..cause parks are developed by the city now...kevin de leon is talking about turning the parks over to non-profits to buy the property/existing faciities/build new park and rec facilities.
And when philantrapists donated land for parks to the city (dedicate it originally) they put in clauses like they must remain public or revert back to the family.
The Grand Ave Project is turning over the park development to be developed by a non-profit, developed by a board -- anyone they choose can be on it, there is no fair game appointment to be on this board, it could be developers on this board, people from New York, any body.
It diminishes the vote. Because you cannot vote for, or remove a boardmemebr on a
non-profit. The public has no voice.
WENDY GREUEL'S CONSTITUENTS IN THE VALLEY NOT EXACTLY THRILLED: CM Greuel said...
"I know we have some people who are vert apprehensive in the Valley. Thos of us who represent, “What does it mean for us?” It means the ability to help attract people to that Downtown. And I have come Down on numerous occasion over the weekend and over at Disney Hall, the excitement you see with the kids and my three and a half year old was there on a Saturday morning. People walking on Grand Avenue, People going to Mocha, and being able to cross the street and go to Disney Hall. That’s what we want to see Downtown. That’s something that we think is critical to, ‘I think’, the future of the City.
[Really? When you look at the “critical” issues the City faces, I doubt any poll would rank, “crossing the street to Disney Hall from Mocha on Saturday morning” as anything measurable. As in “public wants or needs.”]
Even Wendy Greuel admitted to the public on a televised Council meeting, “I got an email from one of my constituents who said, “It’s gonna ‘dwarf’ the Music Center, Mocha and Disney Hall.”
ERIC GARCETTI: And one of the reasons that I support this and I am voting for this today, is not just on the project…I’m voting for this project because we need affordable housing in this City; and that is even a higher priority. [YES ERIC, THANKS FOR POINTING THAT OUT…THIS PROJECT MAY, OR MAY NOT INCLUDE CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THAT. And the money for that "affordable housing" was there anyway? But if that is an even higher priority, why are you building this? It's like taking the Airbus to drive to the bus.]
GARCETTI: You know, Downtown gets beat-up a lot, but when you look at parking revenues, pays tens of millions of dollars more that it receives, so the City can have services like police and fire and paramedics and streets that are paved, and trash collected.
[REALLY??? WHERE ARE THEY??? I THOUGHT YOU JUST RAISED TRASH COLLECTION FEES TO HIRE MORE COPS, BUT HAVEN’T HIRED THE COPS YET?]
GARCETTI: Downtown is the most vital economic engine to out city and our investment in downtown is something that not only the people who live downtown have a stake in, but everyone within the borders of the city have a stake in as well.
EG: (Thank you) Eli Broad, who took this on as “Civic Activism”. [OH REALLY, IS IT IN THE CITY’S CHARTER TO GET INVOLVED IN ‘ACTIVISM” WITH TAXPAYER DOLLARS ON A RISKY INVESTMENT ACCORDING TO ANTONOVICH?]
EG: I want to thank the developers. Because there is a huge risk in this. And in fact, if we didn’t have a developer who was willing to put their own money forward on this, there is a huge risk and I don’t think we would have had the package of affordable housing on-site, the package of living wage jobs, the package of economic growth that we would if we didn’t have a developer who believed in this, as well.
[HOW MANY TIMES DID HE SAY “HUGE RISK” THAT’S WHAT WE ARE ALL SAYING…YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO HAVE “HUGE RISKS” TO PROVIDE THESE BASIC THINGS YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING WITH THE MONEY ANYWAY!!!]
JANICE HAHN: And yes, we had some governmental intrusion on this project, by demanding certain things…but yes, we got back a tremendous benefit in so many ways from the open space [THAT WE ALREADY HAVE], to the jobs, to local hiring [how does that help the valley, et al], to the community benefits package and I love the fact that this project will allow people of diverse background, diverse incomes to be living together, side by side. And I look at Los Angeles, right now, It’s one of the toughest times in terms of inter-racial tension. And I think projects like this, that encourage people of different backgrounds and incomes, living side by side, reaping the benefits together, will go a long way, I believe, towards improving relationships between all people throughout Los Angeles. [LETS CALL IT “THE GHANDI CENTER”!?!?]
JAN PERRY: We insured that the developers understood that the ‘highest priority’, or one of the ‘highest priorities’, to bring open space and to make it available to all of us, all Angelinos. [First of all, the open space is already there, Jan! Secondly, "bringing existing open space" is NOT really a top priority, if you had your priorities straight. Is the mayor holding press conferences over the urgent need to fix the "open space" crisis?]
HOW GOOD FOR THE CITY CAN THIS PROJECT BE IF THEY HAVE GIVEN EVERY REASON WHY WE NEED TO BUILD THIS, EXCEPT THE REASON IT IS BEING BUILT. AND IF IT IS SUCH A GREAT BUSINESS MODEL FOR THE CITY (SINCE THEY ARE PLAYING DONALD TRUMP ON THIS PROJECT), AS PRIVATE DEVELOPERS, WHY CAN'T RELATED COMPANY BUILD IT WITHOUT ALL THE SUBSIDIES???
MORE TO COME THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND: This was just the easy stuff to get out of the way.